Codeacademy is a pretty neat idea: learning the basics of a programming language shouldn't be so intimidating, so let's break it down into friendly, digestible online segments. Cool. What's not so cool is using the threat of digital totalitarianism as a marketing ploy.
He's got two main takes: first, you're naive for being surprised by any of these NSA revelations. They're not even really revelations!
Sure, most of us on the coding side of the screen already knew the deal. I haven’t found a programmer who was surprised by the news that our emails, text messages, and phone calls are being logged and stored. If anything, most of them are surprised that the general public seems so shocked. What were people thinking? That Google just gives us services like Gmail for free? We pay for this stuff - not with cash, but with our data.
You see, Gmail user, you're basically just asking for it. The wrongheadedness is an ulcer for another time.
Rushkoff concludes with a pitch:
The better you understand the programs and platforms you use - and the permanence of almost everything you do online - the better equipped you will be to choose what the data watchers know about you, and what they don’t.
May the digitally illiterate proceed at their own risk. Once again, you have been warned.
Right below that, a big button to sign up for Codeacademy, asking you to sign up. If you want to be on the "coding side of the screen," presumably, you can take some classes and avoid the grasp of the NSA. Or at least avoid being alarmed.